When Genevieve Renaud started working at GHD Canada 11 years ago, she had no idea how her role would change and evolve. But Renaud soon found out that the global employee-owned professional services company is committed to career advancement for its employees.
Renaud was first hired as a project manager in building science before being promoted to manager of roofing and waterproofing. She currently works as a team leader in the building science group in the firm’s office in Brossard, Que., as well as technical services leader for Eastern Canada.
“One thing that’s really great about GHD is all the opportunities we’re offered,” she says. “I’ve been able to travel – to a conference in Vancouver and to the GHD office in Brisbane, Australia – and I have been given several promotions. It’s been amazing for me, as an engineer and as a person.”
Jan Fontana, GHD’s people leader for Canada, points out that the company has many long-serving employees, including several senior leaders who started right out of university. “It’s a great story when they present to students at an event and they can talk about their experience starting here from the beginning,” she says. “To me, that says something great about the company and our culture.”
Fontana, who has been with GHD for 17 years herself, believes that part of the reason people are proud to work at GHD is the company’s strategic vision to help make water, energy and communities sustainable into the future. “We want to create lasting community benefits together with our clients,” she says. “It’s more than business, it’s about having a positive impact on the world, and I think that really resonates with people.”
GHD representatives frequently take part in job fairs and visit universities and colleges to hold information sessions and introduce company leaders to prospective employees. “It’s important to have new talent coming in,” says Fontana. “We hired 160 graduates last year. It is crucial for GHD to hire lots of graduates to make sure we’re creating that pipeline of talent throughout the business.”
As a result of the pandemic, GHD shifted to a hybrid work model and moved to increase its focus on mental health and work-life balance for its staff.
“We provided more flexible benefits and increased our mental health offerings,” says Fontana. “We want to make sure we’re offering our employees and their families a choice of programs to best suit their needs and their health. We also have a well-being strategy which includes programs to support our employees’ physical and mental health, recognizing that work-life balance is different for everybody.”
Renaud says she appreciates the fact that she has been able to advance her career in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. “GHD has been great at empowering us,” she says. “When I was choosing a career path, it was easy to find a way forward, because we have support from the leadership team to progress, and they are really understanding of everyone’s particular situation. We’re a great family.”
Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.